A root canal.
A Congressional inquiry.
An ingrown toenail.
The press corps.
President Shanika Ramakrishnan is trying to list all the things hyperspace travel is more pleasant than. It's a short list, but she supposes it's an exercise in gratitude.
As the anti-nausea drugs wear off (and just think how much fun this would be without them), the communicator in her chamber aboard Space Command One beeps its annoying beep.
"Madame President," the aide's voice says, "we have arrived at the Shakti jump point. We are now entering low planetary orbit; atmospheric entry begins in 45 minutes."
"Good. Please thank the astrogator for getting us here in one piece."
"I mean, thank the astrogator for this very smooth and pleasant trip." Diplomacy has never been one of her strong points, as certain officials in the External Affairs Ministry will attest.
"Yes, Ma'am." There's a pause that she doesn't like the sound of. "Er, Madame President? There's been a, uh, development."
"Well, what is it?"
"One of our planets is missing."